Increasing Your Lifestyle Activity
An underestimated but extremely powerful way to improve your health, burn more energy, and effectively manage your weight is to increase your daily activity. That means if you move more each and every day, it can do more for you than going to the gym two or three times a week. According to a 1999 study, increasing lifestyle physical activity is equally as effective as a structured exercise program in improving exercise, cardio-respiratory fitness, and blood pressure.
Research shows that people who have a lot of excess weight tend to sit more than their thinner counterparts. One study found that “naturally” leaner individuals moved more, while heavier people sat 150 minutes more per day and consequently burned 350 less calories per day. Simply getting up out of the chair and moving more can make a big difference.
You can benefit from these study findings by brainstorming more ways that you can be active in your day-to-day routine. Especially as your wedding date grows nearer, you'll have less and less time for structured exercise activities. You can compensate for that by fitting in more daily movement.
Here are some suggestions to help you move more day after day:
Park farther away from your office, shops, and your own front door.
Get off one station earlier from the train or bus and walk the remainder.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator. In multiple story buildings, take the elevator to one or two floors below your destination and walk the rest.
Avoid moving sidewalks; walk on the regular floor instead.
When you go grocery shopping, walk down all of the aisles.
Return shopping carts back to the store.
When you go to the shopping mall, do an extra lap around the main strip.
Meet friends for walking dates instead of for coffee.
Try walking meetings with colleagues instead of sitting in the office.
Stand and pace when you're on the telephone.
Deliver a message in person instead of sending an e-mail.
Send your documents to a printer that is on the other side of the office.
Find an office colleague to walk with at lunchtime a few days a week, or walk alone.
Take multiple trips when you clear the table or do other household chores.
Do a set of pushups at the sink after you brush your teeth.
Do a set of squats before you sit in your chair in front of the computer.
Take stairs two at a time for a set of lunges.
These are a few ideas to give you some food for thought. Take some time with your journal or with your friends to brainstorm more ways that you can add activity into your day. The average-sized woman burns approximately one calorie per minute when sitting. Simply by standing upright, she doubles her energy expenditure. Marching in place burns three calories per minute, and slow pacing equals four calories per minute. Find every opportunity to stand instead of sit, march instead of stand, and pace instead of march. Every step adds up to make a powerful difference. Wear a pedometer to record your daily movements and aim for up to 10,000 to 15,000 steps daily.